September 15th, 2008
08:05 PM ET
12 years ago

McCain pulls in big donations, smaller crowds

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="McCain and Palin attended separate fundraisers Monday."]MIAMI, Florida (CNN) - Republican presidential candidate John McCain told a private audience Monday night that "no matter what you see in the polls," he and Sarah Palin are underdogs.

It's a tough race, as you know. We got a strong head wind, and we've got a lot of work to do," the White House hopeful said at a fundraiser in Miami. "And no matter what you see in the polls recently, Governor Palin and I are the underdogs."

"We're the underdogs," he repeated. "That's where we like to be. That's the best place to be in this race. So we're going to be working hard and campaigning every single day."

The GOP candidate was addressing a crowd of donors at a Miami hotel. In his introduction, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist said McCain has brought in $26.2 million to date from Floridians, $5.1 million Monday night alone.

McCain may be pulling in big money – but his crowds seem to be fading since he and Palin split up on the campaign trail.

The Arizona senator’s campaign drew about 3,000 people to a "Road to Victory" rally Monday morning featuring the senator and his wife Cindy – nowhere near the number needed to fill the 15,000-seat Veterans Memorial Arena.

Large sections of chairs were left unfilled. Stacks of signs clearly intended to be distributed to a larger crowd could be seen on a number of seat cushions - hand-painted campaign signs ready to go with phrases such as "We (heart) Todd" (as in, Todd Palin), "Moms 4 Palin," and others with more standard McCain fare.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (124 Responses)
  1. Matt

    LOL...picking an unknown in order to create a celebrity via press fervor backfiring much? Is McCain or Palin running for President at this point? she really the Republican party's life insurance for keeping the White House if something happens to him?

    I liked you at one point John, but this has finally gone beyond the pale (in).

    September 15, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  2. Pam

    Umm, isn't using public financing for his campaign? Why is he raising money at all?

    September 15, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  3. Michael Dunn

    Okay people keep this in mind once again...McCain is fund raising despite the fact that he's on "public financing" and yet here's two articles of how Palin and McCain are raising money. Once again Obama is correct; public financing is broken and there are too many ways to game the system. Course I don't see any reports on the 66M that Obama raised last month...

    September 15, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  4. Seattle Sue

    Can we believe Gov. Charlie Grist any more than we believe McCain/Palin? I'm not sure about Grist but McCain/Palin couldn't tell the truth if their lives depended on it.

    September 15, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  5. MIke

    CNN pulls any comment with even the slightest substantive criticism in it in order to keep up the facade that the candidates can be compared in a "balanced" manner. See watch...I'll leave out any substantive commentary and they'll leave this one up.

    September 15, 2008 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  6. Peter (CA)

    Let's see...the crowds are getting smaller but the money is getting bigger.

    Hmmm...must be all those millionaires with the tax cuts.

    So much for "change" Sen. McCain!

    September 15, 2008 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  7. Blake

    So McCain likes it when more people like his opponent than like him?

    September 15, 2008 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  8. Peter (CA)


    We have nothing against women.

    See the conventions? Women were over 50% of the Democratic delegates. We just don't pander like the Republicans do.

    September 15, 2008 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  9. Andrea

    Everyone will soon see how quickly his numbers drop as they all realize...
    He has nothing to offer.

    September 15, 2008 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  10. soccer moms for obama

    no more mcbush.

    he thinks that the economy is strong.
    is he going senile in his old age.

    americans wake up to the deception. mcbush is bush all over again.

    we should all boycot cindy's beer.
    that will show him that the economy is going downhill.
    thanks to mcbush.

    go obama.

    September 15, 2008 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  11. bk

    Florida remembers Obama well and we will never vote for him. You didn't want the votes to count and now Obama is begging for our vote. Ha Ha Ha. McCain/Palin gets our votes.

    September 15, 2008 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  12. Jean 2

    Why is McCain doing fund raisers if he excepted public money? Is he double dipping?

    September 15, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  13. pam Eugene OR

    Sorry John, back to square one. You are a big fat zero. Go back to your small town hall formats so people can't see that no one cares what you have to say. We are sick of your lies and empty words. Palin was a new freak show for a minute but that too is over now. We all know she is a liar and a fraud. Just take your 85 million and slink off with our tax money to finance your lies.
    Bye Bye John. I mourn the man you were.

    September 15, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  14. Zia

    McCain and company is hijacked by opportunists who are running for their own agenda. McCain has no imagination and this works with opportunists very well

    September 15, 2008 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  15. Sandy

    So I guess He wants sympathy or maybe He's trying to play on peoples minds. Those on the fence who thought Palin was good for the Republicans are now having a change of heart.

    September 15, 2008 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  16. Jeff, North Dakota

    Nader / Gonzalez 2008

    September 15, 2008 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  17. vince

    "I get a kick out of all the left wing extremist kooks that hate women. No wonder the Democratic party is a on the way out."

    Another conservative prick trying to light a sexism fire. I forget which candidate is for equal pay? Oh yeah, it's Obama!

    If it were up to mccain and palin, we'd be at war with iran and russia!!


    September 15, 2008 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  18. dannette

    MCain, has really shown that his willing to try anything to win the pres. , Choosing Palin was insulting to those who have half a brain! McCain's love for America is not as great as his love of winning!

    September 15, 2008 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  19. Texas

    i don't believe that either. Everything that comes out of the mouth McSame and the pitbull are lies!!

    September 15, 2008 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  20. UNREAL how some escape justice

    This is NOT a surprise..........when palin is on the mic, he just stand there and smile like a pig with lipstick.........sorry, is that sexist?

    September 15, 2008 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  21. Jack

    And soon there will be none.

    September 15, 2008 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  22. J.C.

    Why can't we talk issues?
    We have heard enough nonsense recently.

    September 15, 2008 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  23. shahid

    How come when Obama said he raised $66 millions no one called him a liar, and here McCain raised some sincere $$$, everyone is jealous and calls him a liar? Are we feeling insecure or something?

    Can't stand liberals, can you?

    September 15, 2008 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  24. Rick of Arizona

    Stupid comments by stupid, dummycrats. Ever wonder what $9.50/hour training wage will do to small business owners? Ever wonder who will pay for a Socialist health care system? Ever talk to someone in Europe who has health care provided by their government and ask them about their tax rates? Get you head out of the sand. Your holy man who draws big crowds will draw big taxes and high inflation. An idiot can do his math.

    September 15, 2008 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  25. Melissa Petoskey, MI

    I just saw the Racheal Maddow Show on msnbc and she said the McCain campaign not once but twice greatly exagerrated the actual crowd size this past weekend. One venue they said had 10,000 when in fact it was about 3500, and another event they claimed 28,000 when in fact it was 8000 ( the latter was when Palin was with him). And the lying continues.......

    September 15, 2008 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
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